ORLANDO, Fla.— “The City Beautiful,” so-named for its natural beauty, was made more beautiful tonight by the presence of Shen Yun, with its colorful handmade costumes, panoramic backdrops, classical Chinese dance, and music.
Dr. Jim Schaus, medical director at the University of Central Florida, and Marlene Schaus caught the beauty on opening night, Jan. 15, at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre.
“Very impressed. Beautiful, beautiful dancing,” Mrs. Schaus said. “I have a dance background so I really … really appreciate their beautiful training … the theatrical expressiveness in addition to all the beautiful technique. Spectacular costumes!”
Dr. Schaus said, “The orchestra is very impressive also—and the different instruments that you don’t hear in our orchestras.”
Shen Yun’s orchestra blends the sounds of East and West for a unique and harmonious effect. “A Western philharmonic orchestra plays the foundation while traditional Chinese instruments lead the melodies,” the website states. Ancient Chinese instruments, the erhu, dizi, pipa, and suona, lend a distinctly Chinese sound.
“Oh, loved it—the visual, the costumes, the orchestra, the singing. Beautiful, beautiful performing arts! So happy we came,” Mrs. Schaus said. With her background in dance and music, she said she admired the way all the components of the performance formed a whole.
She said she enjoyed the way the two masters of ceremonies introduced each part. She found it traditional and liked it very much.
You get to travel and change cultures through art without having to go all the way to China, Dr. Schaus said. “In a way, we’ve been to China. That’s a very nice thing—experiencing China.”Shen Yun presents traditional Chinese culture—its legends, tales, values, beliefs, and dance forms. Classical Chinese dance is Shen Yun’s specialty with China’s ethnic and folk dance styles rounding out the program.
Each year, Shen Yun unveils an entirely new program. Shen Yun first performed in Orlando in 2010. It will give two more performances at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre on Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m.
Reporting by Mary Silver and Louise Rothman.
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. The International Company will perform in Orlando on Jan. 16 and 17. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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